Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched the electronic National Agriculture Market (e-NAM), an e-trading platform linking 21 mandis from eight states in a pilot project.
Addressing a gathering of farmers at the pilot launch of e-NAM, he said this initiative will usher in transparency which will greatly benefit the farmers.
Modi said this is a turning point for the agriculture community, adding that the agriculture sector has to be looked at holistically, and it is only then that maximum benefit of the farmer can be ensured.
The prime minister explained the various initiatives that have been taken, and new initiatives that can be taken to raise agricultural incomes.
Under the e-NAM project, 200 mandis across the country will be linked within five months and 585 mandis by March 2018, union minister for agriculture and farmers welfare Radha Mohan Singh said while addressing the gathering.
The minister said the center is very keen to accomplish the work as early as possible and if states cooperate it will be done one year ahead, ie, by March 2017.
He said the software for interlinking mandis will be provided to all the willing states without cost. Besides, an expert person will be deployed for one year in every sharing mandi so as to facilitate the smooth functioning of the portal.
Under this project, the central government is providing a grant of Rs30 lakh to the proposed agriculture mandis of the states. The farmers will be provided ''farmer helpline services round the clock'' for obtaining information related to this portal.
The minister said the e-NAM will help develop for the first time ''one nation and one market'' in India. Over the years, this market status will be elevated to the status of international market, Singh added.